The report gave strong support to a strategy to achieve by 2030 a 40% cut in Europe´s CO2 emissions compared to 1990 levels.
ENVI MEPs endorsed the European Commission’s ‘roadmap’ to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050, by which time emission reductions of 80-95% are sought.
The plan is controversial, and is currently stalled in the European Council, because to meet the objective a 25% reduction in emissions will be needed by 2020. This will require existing measures to be strengthened or supplemented.
MEPs denounced the Commission for failing to bring forward measures to strengthen the effectiveness of the Emission Trading System, the EU’s principal instrument to reduce emissions from industrial processes.
Carbon prices that had been expected to average €30/tonne CO2 currently stand at just €7, too low to promote low carbon investments. MEPs want the Commission to bring forward proposals to set aside carbon allowances and to tighten the slack in the system created by low economic activity.
MEPs acknowledged that EU plans to have up to 12 carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects in operation by 2015 will not be realised.
Chris Davies MEP, EP rapporteur who drafted the Committee’s report, called on the Commission to provide leadership.
He said: “Europe needs a huge increase in investment to boost the economy and create jobs, but investors must have long term policy direction to shape their decisions.”
“The Commission knows that the Emissions Trading System is failing to provide a sufficient price mechanism to guide investment decisions. It must stop delaying and bring forward proposals to address the problems.”
Chris Davies commented: “CCS can play a crucial role in reducing the world’s carbon emissions, but the technology needs financial support to promote its development and bring down its costs. The Commission must propose how the funding gap will be bridged.”